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Jordanians welcome SSC Takaful, but anxious it may not work

The premises of the Social Security Corporation. (Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Jordanians welcomed a plan by the Social Security Corporation (SSC) for setting up an escrow-like account to help qualified beneficiary parents pay for the college tuition of their children, while earning pensions.اضافة اعلان

But some of the parents voiced concern that the plan may be marred by bureaucracy, or that it may not get off the ground in the first place.

SSC spokesperson Shaman Al-Majali said the account which will be called Hisab Al-Takaful Alijtimai, Arabic for the social solidarity Account, is part of the proposed amendments to the Social Security Law, which will be debated in the Lower House soon.

The purpose, he added, was to help SSC beneficiaries who qualify for the program to cover of their children’s university expenses. He said certain conditions, which will be announced when the Social Security bill is enacted, apply.

“Takaful will particularly assist those who reach the retirement age and have not completed the number of contributions required, and are unable to buy the remaining period, to pay for their children’s education while receiving their pension to ensure a decent living,” Majali told Jordan News.

He explained that JD1 will be levied from each insured person or pensioner, with the remainder coming from the donors and funds.

Majali said that SSC has emerged from its traditional role to support beneficiaries through such programs, such as education. He said participation in the account will be compulsory, and noted that instructions will be issued once the law goes into effect.

Public sector employee Amal Al-Hadid said that the proposal is a “great idea”.

“The costs of university tuition and other expenses are a huge burden on parents because higher education is too expensive,” Hadid told Jordan News.

“But I am afraid it will not bring the desired benefit,” she said. “I hope that the program will be implemented fairly and transparently, and that the conditions will be clear to all.”

Another employee, Mohammed Al-Daradkeh, said the Social Solidarity Account will support many people because higher education is expensive, and “is a burden, especially for low-income Jordanians”.

Daradkeh told Jordan News that the fee to be levied from beneficiaries is affordable, and “if the plan is carried out, parents will ensure a good future to their children.”

Mousa Al-Subaihi, an insurance and social protection expert, told Jordan News that establishing a Takaful account in the manner proposed is a “hasty idea”, which is inconsistent with the Social Security Law and the nature and functions of SSC because it is based on contributions matched by donations.

“This proposal needs an in-depth study in all its aspects, to figure its social and financial implications,” he said. “I am not in favor of charging the retired and the contributor with new deductions for the Takaful account.”

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